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Whenever you’re there, you’re bound to get a fiesta. Majorones include San Sebastián Day on January 20, Carnavalin mid-February and Semana Grande in mid-August. All celebrate Basque culture with not a little drinking. The renowned International Film Festival takes place in September, the International Jazz Festival in July. Nearby, Bilbao also hosts the epic Bilbao BBK Music Festival - definitely not one to miss.


No clubber should miss Bataplan, the coolest venue in town. Partying starts at 1pm, and if you get a pass at a bar beforehand, entry is free. One of those bars is Ondarra, blasting out block-rockin’ beats downstairs. For something more mellow, try bars Altxerri and Be Bop for blues and jazz.

Monte Igueldo:

After a hard night’s partying, clear your head by climbing this hill. If that’s too much, take the funicular railway. Either way, when you reach the top, you’ll get high all over again: on the spectacular view of city, beach and the bay that opens out into Biscay. Follow the Costa Verde eastwards and you’ll see the Pyrenees.

Where to eat:

Budget: With its dish of the day only €9, you can’t beat La Zurri. On the waterfront, this seafood restaurant serves up simple Basque dishes and is popular with locals. It doesn’t accept credit cards, but you won’t need one

Mid-range: A traditional Basque restaurant near the city’s Aquarium, La Rampa offers fine fish and seafood as well as terrific views of the sea. Specialities include hake and grilled cod steak to be washed down with local cider – and all brought by English-speaking waiters.

Luxury: After Kyoto, San Sebastian boasts more Michelin stars per square metre than any city in the world. One reason is Mugaritz. Currently ranked the world’s fourth best, this three-star restaurant offers a personalised menu of approximately 20 dishes, the standout being chocolate cake with cold almond cream and cocoa bubbles. Book well in advance.


Dip your toes in the San...
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